"Best all-around non-dSLR bargin!"4.5 starson by video_guy
Pros: Near dSLR quality pictures; manual zoom ring is much better than servo-zoom; low-light pictures (wide angle) are very impressive; good looking camera with comfortable grip; excellent manual controls
Cons: No IS; slightly bulky when traveling; battery cover has finicky design
Summary: If you are looking for a camera that will 1) consistently take excellent photos under a variety of situations, including low-light environments 2) be easily to use, e.g. point-and-shoot, 3) offer lots of creative control over your shots with both 10x zoom and wide-angle 28mm range, and 4) provide full manual control as you develop your skill, the S6000fd is one of the best camera bargains available. This is especially true as this camera can be found for around $250 with a mail-in rebate through the end of June 2007. Apparently, Fujifilm is trying to get rid of them so they can be replaced with a new model. I thought about waiting for them to replace the S6000fd with a newer one that supports image stabilization (IS). However, I didn't want to wait until after summer to get my hands on the latest-and-greatest.
After using the S6000fd on my recent vacation, I found that IS is not even necessary on 85% of the shots I was trying to take. I was at a wedding and the church was dark. Flash photography was not allowed, but the S6000fd came through like a champ, except at the long end of the tele-zoom. The camera performs up to ISO 3200, but those are probably too noisy to use without PhotoShop.
Before buying the S6000fd, I looked at the Nikon D40, Canon SD800IS and the Panasonic TZ3. The latter are both much smaller and easier to carry around, but neither provide the image quality that the S6000fd does. At ISO 400 and under, it was difficult to tell the difference between the D40 and the S6000fd, unless you go down to comparing pixels. To get the zoom- and wide-angle range, the D40 requires either a new lens or you have to search for a special 2 lens kit, which pushes the price north of $800. Plus the S6000fd takes great movies (the D40 doesn't). I couldn't be happier. I highly recommend this camera. In all the reviews, people might complain about no IS, but once you learn how to take good pictures, you won't miss it.